Slide background

Shami Chakrabarti to leave Liberty after 12 years leading human rights group

Shami Chakrabarti is to leave Liberty after 12 years leading the civil liberties and human rights organisation.

Chakrabarti first joined Liberty as in-house counsel on the day before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and was appointed Director two years later.

Liberty said: “During her time in the role, the organisation has seen off attempts to impose compulsory ID cards, disrupted plans to extend pre-charge detention to 42 days, defeated the internment of foreign nationals in Belmarsh prison and challenged the divisive section 44 stop and search without suspicion powers.

“In the face of increasingly savage attacks on our rights and freedoms, Liberty has repeatedly demonstrated the value of the Human Rights Act for all – from soldiers to protesters, the bereaved to the homeless, spied-on families to victims of modern slavery.”

Chakrabarti said: “It has been the most enormous privilege to lead Liberty for the past 12 years. With members, colleagues, lawyers, journalists and politicians from across the spectrum, we have held three Prime Ministers and six Home Secretaries to account.

“Liberty’s first President E.M. Forster rightly called defending civil liberties ‘the fight that is never done’. I leave Liberty secure in the knowledge that we’re stronger and more ready for that fight than ever.

“Human rights belong to everyone. Today we begin our search for someone ready to defend these values well into the future.”

The recruitment process for the new Director will begin in the next few weeks, and Chakrabarti will remain in post until her successor is appointed.

Slide background